Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
New Steiner School in N London(15 Posts)
Thought this might be of interest to anyone looking for a
more "enlightened" m/s school. I've never managed to get to the bottom
of the Steiner philosophy, I know they only use toys made of natural
materials and they don't like straight lines, and I believe people with
ASD have often attended their schools and lived in their communities.
This new school is going to be "the first full Steiner school in London
educating children from birth to university entrance. Phase one will
accommodate preschool, 3 kindergartens and Lower School and Middle
Schools (to 14 years)."
They have vacancies in classes for children form 6 years to 12 years,
don't know if this means the younger classes have not yet been
established. We happened to drive past it today, its on the road (St
Paul's?) between Hackney and Highbury Corner but nearer to Highbury.
Next school tour Friday 17th (June I assume) - contact 020 7226 4454 or
I've just been hearing today about Steiner schools for the first time from a friend whose dh went to one. I'm becoming more and more anti tests and exams at school - I don't think it has any benefit long term and it seems so stressful for the children and I think education should be all about helping children to be happy and confident in who they are. I am going to try to find out whether there are any near us (W Sussex). Has anyone got experience of them? (And are they expensive, before I start getting hooked on the idea?!)
I suppose I should post this in Education too, doh! Was thinking of somewhere more welcoming for children with SN. There have been threads on Steiner in Education before, not long ago.
St. Paul's Steiner School has been open for at least 5 years, but only for children up to 8. We looked round it when DS1 was little, but it wasn't quite right for DS1. The tour is interesting though.
Hmmmm, well they've just started advertising hard then. Also posted in Education now.
Satine - I believe there is a steiner or steiner style school in or near Petersfield. Don't know how close that is to you.
Davros, I am really considering sending ds2 (severe delay s & l) to Steiner for the reception year although I believe they do not do a full week until Yr 1 and then they get an afternoon off. I think it would help in the fact there would not be that academic pressure to read, write etc but on the other hand when I put him back in to mainstream would I have done him any favours?? Also my dd would love to go there as they do not have the same pressure on them, in fact she would like to be home educated - but I do not have the patience and she can be a bit laid back!!!
Yogi, a good friend of mine sent her son to a Steiner kindergarten and school for a few years. He actually only did one and a bit years at the school and she then switched him to mainstream (for reasons I don't really understand). He did struggle quite a bit as he went into Yr3 and was only just starting to learn to read and write under the Steiner system and obviously his new classmates had been doing so since Reception. He did catch up quite quickly, though this may be because he is a bright kid.
So I would say that you should wait until your ds has learned to read and write at the Steiner school before making the switch. My dd would love the emphasis on art and crafts but we could never have afforded to send her there. Also, I don't agree with the rigidity of some of their policies (many of which are based on theories developed in the 1920's) - not teaching reading and writing until they are 7 or so - I agree that many kids will learn faster if you leave it until then, but I wouldn't wish to deprive any child of the pleasure of reading if they wished to learn sooner. Also they seem to have a blanket ban on any modern toys unless they are made out of wood or other natural materials- even ones like lego.
I don't know Yogi, just strikes me as possibly less "judgemental" and more welcoming to differences? But obv other considerations such as reading and writing. Why switch at all though if they go to one?
Pabla, I agree with the reading, dd and ds1 love reading and I could never understand why anyone would deprive their children of that until now - as ds2 could probably recognise the words but not say them.
Davros, I did originally think of sending them all to Steiner but convention got the better of me also the school here finishes at Yr 9 which makes the whole thing pointless.
I am thinking less judgemental as well but today have been reassured by ds2's teacher (to be in sept) that I have nothing to worry about, they will deal with what ever comes their way.
I posted this also to a group of friends who have children with autism and all live in North London. At least 3 of them have been to see it and thought it would be hopeless with special needs! Plus one said it is expensive and has short days, another said the organisation/admin was diabolical!
You know that makes me feel so much better and a little less guilty about throwing my little ds2 in to the flames of reception class!! I just feel this urge to wrap him in cotton wool and ward off the nasties. I have thought about keeping him out till he is 5 but as nothing will be provided by the LEA (eg nursery place) I will be doing him more harm than good.
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